Wedding Getting Ready Photos, Volume 2

2. Location

The backdrop for your wedding getting ready photos as well as the logistics of it all both come into play when selecting the perfect location. Logistically, you want to be close to where all the action will take place and you also want to have everyone involved get ready in the same spot. Bride, groom, parents, bridal party. This way, you will have pictures of everyone and they will all head out to the ceremony together, thus no one being late. Picking a location that is central to where everything is taking place that day will also save you a little in time and cost of your photography package as you will have less dead time (also known as driving time).

In terms of the location of your choice being picture perfect, the most important aspect is the light. You want a bright, pretty and uncluttered room. Great lighting is just important for your makeup artist as it is for your photographer. And while we can both bring lighting in, you don’t want that. You want your makeup to look amazing from outdoor portraits to your candle lit reception and you also want your photographs for this portion of the day to look every bit like the “morning of” – bright and happy. Good natural light is needed to achieve the look.

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Three other important facts: 1) Make sure that the room (preferably suite) is large enough for everyone. 2) Keep everyone’s personal items to a minimum. You don’t want your photographer to waste time cleaning up the room instead of taking photos just to carve out a little space for you to put your dress on. And you also don’t want the backdrop of these images (as out of focus as it may be) to show suitcases with everyone’s bras and underwear spilling out.

Ideally, this is your suite and only your personal belongings are here (in the closet). Everyone can hang out with you and get hair and makeup done here, but they should keep everything else in their respective rooms. This way they can just step out for 15 minutes to get dressed before you need to put the dress on.

3) If your hotel allows bridal parties to take pictures in the common areas (some don’t), selecting one that also has a pretty lobby with lots of photo ops makes for a great and (free) rain backup location.

I will close this section with suggestions for a few of my favorite hotels in downtown Chicago. They rank high on my list because they are ideal backdrops for getting ready photos, not because I have any personal experience staying at any one of them in terms of service, cost or how firm their mattresses are. Listed in no particular order:

– The Peninsula

– The Trump

– The W Lakeshore

– The Omni

– The Drake

– Hotel Palomar

– Hotel Allegro

– The Allerton

– The Blackstone

– Intercontinental Magnificent Mile Chicago